Cruising why's, how's, Pro's, Con's Part 1

In this article, I would like to explore why I choose cruise things I do and the "how-to" along with the pros and cons of cruise choices. Everyone cruises differently, and that is the beauty of cruising it's your holiday your way! So once I decide I want to take a cruise:

I start looking online for my choices, and I go to websites I can search All itineraries at one time with entering my dates and where I want to travel. One site is Vacations to go not only can you search but you can find great deals and book as well all at the same time.

What I look for in a cruise...…..

1)warm -because I live in winter most of the year and want warm weather to snorkel. The pro on this type of cruise is the cruises are very affordable, the cons are not a lot of difference in cultures, but I go for the sand and water with Caribbean culture anyway.

2)Affordable- because we all can't be independently wealthy, and my husband demands It.

3)I pick the places I haven't seen before first, but I also will go to places I have been if it is the best option. Why? Because for me I will be happy if I got sun, sand, and water to swim.

Once the type of cruise or destination is chosen, I move on to what ship I want. This part is the most fun for me as there are so many types of ships, the activities, style, size are all so different. It's as exciting as purse or shoe shopping. Here is where to find cruise captains recommended cruise Pro's.

cruiseThe Ship...with all the fantastic choices out there this keeps me flipping from one to another often, did I say often I meant OFTEN! I could go back and forth between ships right up until booking day.

While my husband loved the Holland America Eurodam cruise, a ship without all the bells and whistles (was the first time I saw him "relax" on vacation) I want the activities and adventures the large ships have.

The pros- A smaller ship is a more relaxed type of cruise. If you want to kick back and be waited on, then a smaller ship is best. The cons? Well, I actually liked kicking back and being waited on, just not on every cruise.

The larger ship is more explore and do, with possibly a day of kicking back and being waited on. Often the larger ships will have brand coffee places and other name brand establishments not on the smaller ships.

The con's- Larger ships have people everywhere, and there seems to be a ton of walking to get from one end to another, smaller ships have fewer choices for dining, evening activities and amenities.

NOTE: the vacation is yours regardless of the size of the ship. You can choose to kick back on the larger just as much as, the smaller. For me, I want to take advantage of any and all activities I usually wouldn't be able to do.

Once the ship and itinerary have been chosen, it's time to look at cabins, this for me is the most important choice I make on the ship. My first pick tends to be mid-ship with cabins above and cabins below. I initially chose this location because I didn't know if I would get seasick and mid-ship they say is the best place to avoid it. Cabins above and below is so I don't have the noise of deck chairs scraping the deck at 6 am and noise from the club music till 3 am.

Now that I have cruised and know I don't get seasick I like midship solely for convenience of forward and aft amenities being equal distance and not a long hike. ( I love my first coffee in the morning to be a latte or cappuccino and go get it myself to bring back to the room). I still look for cabins above or below or at least a venue that is minimal for noise like the spa or shops that have guaranteed hours.

Pros: - midship and cabins above and below- accessibility and quietness.

Cons: - you have to book early, or you might not get this choice; they are the first to be booked.

Now that the location has been chosen, There is the choice of a balcony, port window, inside. We love our balcony cabins. There is nothing like rolling out of bed and stepping out first thing in the morning and taking in the new view or sitting out on your balcony when the lido is crowded. We have never sailed in less than a balcony cabin and can't see that changing.

Pro's: - Your room choice ensures you get what you want.

Con's:- choosing your cabin usually is more expensive than the general booking category.

The booking process, you found your cruise destination, ship, cabin, and are ready to book. I have always used either the cruise line booking agent or online, but there is another option I have been introduced to that I will be trying next.

While this option has always been around forever, I always figured I would pay more for someone to do something I could do myself. Yes, I am talking about using a travel agent! I always thought they would book me at a full price not find the deals I could, or charge me a fee to use them.

NAY! NAY! I have discovered they do not charge you a fee, they have access to deals not available to the general public, they have your back should there be complications with your travel plans and the knowledge on how to fix them, they are experts in the field of travel and can spot or alert you to necessary documents needed or notice any issues you might run into with transfers, timing, etc. So yes I will try using a travel agent for booking the next vacation.

Check out Part 2 - After I am booked now the fun really starts, I look on YouTube for all the videos on my cruise, the ship, and activities I want to do. I shop for Items, plan what I want to pack. you will find all this and more in the second article